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Saffron Bryant, Peter Koevari
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Oscar Wilde
Does My Goldfish Know Who I Am?: and hundreds more Big Questions from Little People answered by experts
David Attenborough, Sir, Miranda Hart, Gemma Elwin Harris, Brian Cox
The Night Circus
Erin Morgenstern
The Fellowship of the Ring
J.R.R. Tolkien

Grimm Fairy Tales: Oz

Grimm Fairy Tales: Oz - Joe Brusha I picked this up for a number of reasons. First of all, I missed reading graphic novels. It somehow manages to relax me a lot more than regular reading, and sometimes this is just the kind of "escape" I need. Secondly, I just *love* fairy tale adaptations.
Supposedly, this should have been the perfect read. And it has been very enjoyable, only it wasn't anything memorable.
The artwork was more than okay, with the exception of characters' facial expressions here and there. Also, the female characters seemed to have come from a Playboy magazine, as is the tendency in a lot of comics nowadays. This hasn't personally bothered me, but I noticed it has been a problem for a lot of readers.
The story retelling wasn't anything extraordinary. We have Dorothy, a Kansas farm girl who adopts a wolf as her pet, and names him Toto. Only Toto belongs to the Wicked Witch from the East, which is the reason why she is transported to Oz in the first place. There is a prophecy which says Dorothy might be the saviour of Oz, but we don't get as much details about it as I would've wanted. I personally found it interesting how Dorothy's friends from the original story (the lion, the scarecrow...) were present in the story in different forms. For instance, the scarecrow used to be a human being who dared to defy the Witch.
All in all, this was a quick, fun read, but it doesn't leave a long-lasting impression. A good pick for when you're bored and don't want to indulge in something with a complicated plot and storyline.

Destroy Me

Destroy Me - Tahereh Mafi Okay... just... breathe.

Never thought I'd say something like this, but...
Team Warner!


Exposed - Kyra Davis image
Meh... I don't know what I was expecting. It wasn't worse nor better than the first book in the series that I received from NetGalley and read a little over a year ago.
The things I do for the sake of knowing the end of a story...
But hey - don't listen to what I'm saying! The book was good, really... if you liked the first one, you'll probably enjoy this one too. Me, on the other hand... I'm kind of disappointed with Kassie's evolution as a character. She went from being totally devoid of any hint of personality to becoming a strong woman... only to be end up being in Robert's control.
Bravo, Kassie! What can I say? What's the saying? Oh, right. You fell out of the frying pan into the fire. That's what you did. Now be a good girl and do whatever "Mr. Dade" tells you to do... he's hot so it's okay and totally worth it. Right? Right?

Beatrix Potter Illustrated Collection

Beatrix Potter Illustrated Collection - Beatrix Potter, Timeless Reads image
This was extremely cute and all, not to mention free on Amazon at the time I got it, but I definitely recommend taking a break between each story, otherwise you'll get bored.
Beatrix Potter's stories are too well known for me to even mention anything more about them, but if you never heard of her and her books, then you must really check this out. The illustrations are fantastic and the stories will make you feel nostalgic about your childhood. Or even better, read it to your younger siblings or kids. :)


Severed - Lizzy Ford, Julia Crane What do you get if you mix Lizzy Ford's and Julia Crane's writing skills?
A hot, page-turner Sci-Fi Romance, that's what!
In almost 60 pages, they managed to create an exciting world I can't wait to read more about. My only complaint is that it was... well... too short. At least the sequel is already out, I guess.

Looking for Alaska

Looking for Alaska - John Green “If people were like rain, I was like drizzle and she was a hurricane.”

I don't know how much of a hurricane Alaska Young was. She sure was a mystery, but the real hurricane was what John Green caused yet another time in my heart when I read this book.

“It always shocked me when I realized that I wasn’t the only person in the world who thought and felt such strange and awful things.”

Truth be told, I knew I was going to go through a lot of feelings with this one from the moment I saw it was divided into parts entitled "X days before". Before what? My heart knew the answer, and there I was, lying to myself it might be something else. But then... why would everyone have said they cried reading this book? So... I didn't cry, fortunately. Or maybe it would've been better if I did. Here I am, one hour after finishing this, and I feel hopelessly lost.

"“Thomas Edison's last words were 'It's very beautiful over there'. I don't know where there is, but I believe it's somewhere, and I hope it's beautiful.”"

I can't even put it in words... all that I feel right now. It basically put out there everything each and every one of us questions about life, love, death. But there are no answers to those, there never will be any. I guess we each have to find them on our own. This is not a review, this is just myself trying to get over this book... this book that I don't even know why I liked so much.

“He was gone, and I did not have time to tell him what I had just now realized: that I forgave him, and that she forgave us, and that we had to forgive to survive in the labyrinth. There were so many of us who would have to live with things done and things left undone that day. Things that did not go right, things that seemed okay at the time because we could not see the future. If only we could see the endless string of consequences that result from our smallest actions. But we can’t know better until knowing better is useless. And as I walked back to give Takumi’s note to the Colonel, I saw that I would never know. I would never know her well enough to know her thoughts in those last minutes, would never know if she left us on purpose. But the not-knowing would not keep me from caring, and I would always love Alaska Young, my crooked neighbor, with all my crooked heart.”

Ghost Hand

Ghost Hand - Ripley Patton 3.5 stars

Interesting read, I might just check out the sequel, this seems like a really promising series. :)

Wait for You

Wait for You  - J. Lynn How I felt in the first half of the book...
...and towards the ending

Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy

Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy - Karen Foxlee I read this book three months ago, and despite being in the middle of my college exam session, I couldn't quite put it down. So sitting now at my desk, writing this review, I wonder why I put it off until now, when the memory of this really pleasant read is starting to fade away.

Now let's get back to "Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy". This book started off (and continued right until the end of it) with this incredible, surreal atmosphere children's fantasy books usually have. Or at least, the good ones. It reminded me of past reading experiences like Roald Dahl's "Mathilda" or Lemony Snicket's "Series of Unfortunate Events", both deservedly famous in the children's book genre, which is saying quite a lot, isn't it?

Ophelia, her sister Alice and their father move into a strange town where it always snows. Being a sword expert, the latter's help is needed at the town's museum, where all the main narrative action takes place. Ophelia is fascinated with science and doesn't believe in the preternatural, and like most girls her age, is very curious. So she discovers right on her first day in the museum that a strange boy is being kept prisoner in a long forgotten room.

The book explores Ophelia's adventures in the museum, trying to free the boy, as well as the boy's fantastical quest in the past that led him to become captive. I found myself amused and sometimes a little bit irritated by the boy's attitude towards his duty. He keeps forgetting the important stuff and ends up doing what he was told not to under any circumstances. I couldn't believe someone could be so irresponsible. Olivia herself had trouble with accepting his story as real. But because of the fantasy elements in it.

The town's story also reminded me of a very well-known fairytale, Andersen's "The Snow Queen", a story I had cherished as a child.

But this book doesn't stop at telling us two fantastical adventures. No. It's more than that. It's a story about coming to terms with loss, grief, and accepting not everything in life can be explained. Furthermore, Ophelia made for quite an intriguing character, with her lack of belief in magic (despite her late mother's career in writing fantasy books) contrasting with her determination to go on the crazy adventure of saving the boy, a quest in which she deals with the preternatural numerous times until she can accept its existence. She is a strong character and a good role model for children, never giving up even though she has "bad asthma" and has to stop every once in a while to use her puffer.

All in all, "Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy" is a 3 in 1 adventure: Ophelia's, the boy's and yours while reading this book. Definitely recommended.

Reaper's Rhythm: 1 (Hidden)

Reaper's Rhythm: 1 (Hidden) - Clare Davidson Holy... who does your covers, Clare? That person is simply amazing!

Hear No

Hear No  - Lizzy Ford review to come :)


Harul - Ada Ioana Raluca Băceanu Acţiune, personaje şi dialog nerealist. Protagonistă enervantă. Chiar am încercat, dar ... nu, pur şi simplu nu. Time to move on.

The Crow: Curare

The Crow: Curare - Antoine Dode, James O'Barr I read this book at the beggining of October, completely forgot to review it, and each time I remembered I just didn't have the time to sit down and remember how I felt when I read it.
So I will keep this to the point, a much shorter review than I'm used to, but here you go...

Joe Salk used to be a very good police officer of Detroit, until he couldn't solve the case of a little girl's murder. He becomes so obsessed with it, he gives up on everything, haunted that the killer managed to escape and is probably stil free. In fact, he actually sees, or at least he believes he sees the girl's ghost, who is trying to help him solve the case so they can both have peace.

The art is very dark, fitting the story beautifully. It will make you emotional for sure, and you will hate the murderer more and more with each page, especially since this is the story of way too many children, whose killers may or may have not been caught.


Inheritance - Tom Brown, Rebecca Taylor, Nimue Brown Originally review for my blog: http://vanillamoonblog.com/2013/10/06/review-inheritance-hopeless-maine-2/

There are dead ones who walk. Restless. And others who sleep. There are the oblivious living and those who pause to think. There are the missing. The might-be-dead. Walking. And not walking.
(...)Once upon a time, we fought demons together. Now we are older, wiser. We give our demons different names. And no names at all.
This is not a story about growing up.
This is a story about thinking you had grown up already.
And finding it wasn't simple after all.

"Inheritance" continues Salamandra's adventures in the same style as its predecessor, in the shape of beautifully drawn gothic illustrations.

Sal discovers she actually has a relative - her grandfather, who is living on the island and is thought to be mad. However, she seeks him out to get some answers about herself and her past, but his answers are vague. They may or may not have much sense, and Owen thinks the rumours are true and her grandfather is actually crazy. But is he?

A mysterious disease is taking down  Hopeless' inhabitants one by one, and Owen thinks the doctor is responsible in some way. But, as you would expect, his priest-father doesn't believe him. Nobody does, for that matter, except for Salamandra.

Compared to the first book in the series, I found this one slightly worse. I was expecting a somewhat longer sequel after reading "Personal Demons" and instead of getting the answers I was seeking, I got even more mysteries I want solved. And with the rate at which these graphic novels seem to be published, I probably won't be getting them any sooner than next year.

I was a little confused by the transition between different scenes - which was rather absent in my opinion. It felt as if there were missing pages, but my tablet clearly indicated I didn't skip any - the page numbers were in order. Unfortunately, by the time the third novel comes out, I will probably forget some of what happened in these first two and I won't be able to enjoy them as I should - like it was the case with this one.

I can't really tell exactly what the problem was with this book. I liked it, of course, but it wasn't as good as the first one. It had a good plot, but everything felt a little bit chaotic - as if you couldn't really make any sense of how what previously happened a page before was connected to what you were currently reading. I can't really explain it that well. The way I phrased it just now makes it sound so much worse than it actually was. The mystery of it all is definitely the series' charm, but in this installment, it felt a little bit too much.

I still loved the story and the characters and still want to know why everything is so strange in Hopeless and whether the rest of the world in this series is as full of ghost and monsters and mysterious events. With the first book in the series, I felt it was too short and that was the reason I only gave it 4 vanilla flowers out of 5. Now this second novel is even shorter - with 20 pages or so.

A welcome addition was the detailed descriptions of Hopeless' founding families' history, habits and their current surviving members. I hope in the next book, some explaining about the monsters and ghosts will be made. I look forward to it and recommend giving this series a try, especially if you like books that raise a lot of questions.

P.S.: I found out that these two authors and found out they were (or still are) living on a narrowboat and had to generate their own electricity. Drawing and writing in these conditions - wow! The two of them gained my respect. :)



Hopeless  - Colleen Hoover Review to come.

My Little Pony: Pony Tales Volume 1 (My Little Pony

My Little Pony: Pony Tales Volume 1 (My Little Pony - Brenda Hickley, Ryan Lindsay, Tony Fleecs, Andy Price, Thom Zahler, Bobby Curnow, Ben Bates, Amy Mebberson, Ted Anderson, Katie Cook, Barbara Kesel What do you mean I can't read MLP comics at my age? Okay, okay, I'll be careful not to be caught.


^ this is me reading it on my tablet (thank you Netgalley!)


Okay. So this volume is actually a compilation of six issues, each featuring one of the main ponies.

The first story is about Twilight Sparkle who has a special mission from Princess Celestia. She has to help a librarian for a few days... and I think all of us bookworms can relate to her enthusiasm, right? Right?


Then we have Rainbow Dash, 20% cooler, 20% faster, who faces a problem she's never had before: she can't defeat a cloud that uses negative feelings to become stronger.


Rarity is preparing for a big fashion-event, exhausted and worrying herself for every single detail. So her pony-friends send her to relax at a spa. When she arrives there, she is surprised to find out she has to wake up early each day and work.


Fluttershy's story is by far the cutest. She enters an art competition with one of her extreme knitting creations from her secret room. But you know how Fluttershy is - shy to the moon and back. So she's not confident at all in her skills.


Pinkie Pie was my favourite one - because she's my favourite character, maybe? Because she drank 314 bottles of the Pony World's equivalent of Coca Cola, she finally won two tickets to see her favourite clown's last performance ever. But Pinkie Pie doesn't see any sense in a world where Ponyacci doesn't "exist anymore" (that's how she calls it), so she finds a way for him to still contribute to the community as a clown.


We have Applejack's story at the end of this volume. A sweet story about the importance of your family, and understanding you don't have to be on your own or prove anything because they'll always be there for you. It was a little bit boring with some repetitve booby traps placed by Applejack in order to capture the creature that is suposedly destroying a family holiday.


Overall, this book not only teaches young children the value of friendship, but is also a fun read for bronies. ;)